Now we know why Sony wanted to announce yesterday that Kazuo Hirai will replace Howard Stringer as CEO in April. U.S. shares are down about 5.4% in pre-market trading after the electronics and entertainment giant released a fiscal 3Q report filled with tales of woe — including in its filmed entertainment and music businesses. In the last three months of 2011, the company generated a net loss of $2B, down from a profit in the period last year, on revenues of $23.4B, down 17.4%. What’s more, Sony lowered its forecast for the fiscal year ending in March: It now expects to wind up with a $1.2B operating profit, which is 10.2% lower than it predicted in November. Sony’s biggest problem is the declining sales of LCD television sets in Japan, Europe, and North America. Revenues for Consumer Products and Services fell 24.4% to $12.8B in the quarter. Revenues grew for filmed entertainment, by 7.7% to $2.1B, but due to high marketing costs and the disappointing performance of Arthur Christmas the unit’s operating profit fell 84.8% to $9M. The Music operation also struggled with sales down 11.7% to $1.6B, and a 21.7% decrease in operating income to $196M. Bestselling titles included Adele’s 21 and music from the TV show Glee.
Sony delivered a gloomy report as it reeled from problems that ranged from surprisingly low sales of TV sets to floods in Thailand. For the quarter that ended in September, the fiscal 2Q, Sony had a net loss of $350M on sales of $20.5B. But it also slashed its projection for fiscal-year results to a $1.2B loss from a $769M profit. Sony Pictures delivered operating income of $268M, up from a $61.6M loss in the quarter last year, on revenues of $2.2B, up 17%. But that includes $278M from the sale of Spider-Man merchandising rights, as well as strong results for The Smurfs. Overall, the company says that theatrical was a drag on the higher sales of TV shows and home entertainment. The music unit sang a different tune, with operating income down 21.9% to $82M on sales of $1.3B, down 6.6%. The company attributes that to the appreciation of the yen, and lower album sales outside of the U.S.